M.phil. Rómulo Pinheiros avhandling for graden ph.d.

Avhandlingens tittel er:

In the Region, for the Region? A comparative study of the institutionalisation of the regional mission of universities.



The dissertation brings together key conceptual and theoretical aspects emanating from the fields of higher education- , organizational- and regional science- studies. The research problem being addressed lies on the key factors affecting the institutionalization of the regional mission of universities. The study resorts to three distinct institutional cases in Norway (Tromsø), Finland (Oulu) and South Africa (Port Elizabeth /NMMU). A major conceptual premise of the study is that the outcome of institutionalization processes results from the complex interplay between external drivers or forces and university dynamics (“organizational/institutional filters”). Methodologically speaking, the study builds upon the analysis of internal documents and (83) semi-structured interviews with university (central and unit levels, academic and administrators alike) and regional actors (local government and industry). A central finding of the study pertains to the fact that increasing strategic attention (central and unit levels) is being attributed to the regional mission, and that there is a growing tendency for institutionalizing regionally-related dimensions closer to core teaching and research activities. The rediscovery of universities’ regional missions is a reflection of the disruptive changes in the environmental (technical and institutional) conditions under which universities operate, as illustrated by the competitive urge to develop a distinct institutional profile and to attract additional external resources.  When it comes to the sets of factors driving the institutionalization of the regional mission, the study sheds light on the dynamic interplay amongst macro (policy/region), meso (university level) and micro (sub-units) level dimensions.  Finally, by pinpointing the complexities and ambiguities associated with universities and regions on the one hand, and institutionalization processes on the other, the study has profound implications in terms of policy (national and regional levels), practice (leadership and management) and future research efforts in the area. 


Publisert 13. feb. 2012 12:50 - Sist endret 13. feb. 2012 12:54